November Window

Every November, on Thanksgiving day, my great-grandmother, Lydia Jane Hall, gathered her family around the big dining room table to give thanks. It was hard for her when her children married and sometimes didn’t come back for this celebration. But her well-loved tradition lasted for over forty years after she died. The centerpiece of the meal was the turkey, which was often raised right there on the farm.

"November Window," Carol Crump Bryner, monoprint

“November Window,” Carol Crump Bryner, monoprint

Thursday, November 26, 1914 – “Nice Day. All the family home excepting Alice and husband and baby. We had a very nice time. Two nice turkeys well baked by Agnes, rolls and doughnuts made by Ellen, fine Indian meal pudding, pumpkin and mince pies, cranberry sauce, oysters, pickles, cheese, and coffee.” – Lydia Jane Hall

Thursday, November 24, 1921 – “Stormy. Quite heavy ice storm – unpleasant for Thanksgiving day. We had a very nice turkey well roasted with cranberry sauce, all the vegetables, nice biscuit, pumpkin pie, a nice box of chocolate candies from Ed & Carrie. They took dinner with Alice. We missed our family gathering today which we have had so many years together. We certainly have been blessed for which we are thankful.” – Lydia Jane Hall

See also: April, May, June, July, August, September, and October Windows

On Monday:  Siberia

4 thoughts on “November Window

  1. Carol Henderson

    Your blog is always a little fresh breeze in the day Carol, a moment to reflect on times past in other families and to consider my own. Magnificent art work too, always.
    Thank you.

  2. Katy Gilmore

    I love the windows! And this one seems a final portrait of that poor turkey about to become a “nice turkey.” The post inspires as we approach the big meal. Interesting how much energy matriarchs expend on these holiday meals – and the fret about who is coming – I suppose such traditions would easily drop away without women like Lydia. Also interesting how intact the basic elements – turkey, of course, cranberries, etc – and the chance for very bad weather complicating travel. Thanks Carol!

    1. Carol Post author

      The expended energy seems all tied up with keeping the traditions going and with wanting to be with the people who have meant so much in our lives. And the matriarchs, as you say, seem to be the ones in charge of keeping it all going. Wishing you good weather for your holiday!


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